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How to have a lasting marriage: David and Victoria Beckham’s tips ahead of 20th anniversary

It’s 20 years ago this week since a Manchester United star married a Spice Girl in a fairytale ceremony at an Irish castle.

Not since Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981 had there been such fever around a couple’s nuptials.

OK magazine paid David and Victoria Beckham a then-record £1million for the rights to the glitzy do at Luttrellstown Castle in Ireland.

 The Beckhams got married in 1999 (Photo: Courtesy)

The photos were as extraordinary as the marriage would turn out to be – 25-year-old Victoria wore a crown befitting Posh Spice, Becks, 24, was in white tails. They sat on golden thrones while a single white dove was released into the air.

Empire

It was like the end of a Disney movie – but it was the start of an empire. Brand Beckham is now worth £355million.

It’s an empire still standing today despite, at times, almost being shaken to its foundations by fiercely denied rumours of infidelity, separation, divorce – all in the glare of the spotlights they switched on that day on July 4, 1999.

Even the heirs to their throne – Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper – can’t escape the scrutiny that goes with their surname.

 The couple is now worth £355million (Photo: Courtesy)

So what is the glue that keeps this glittering couple together 20 years on? Victoria put her finger on it in September. “David and I realise we are stronger together than we are as individuals,” she said.

“Would either of us be in the position we are in now had we not met and been together all those years? It’s all about the family unit. We are much stronger, the six of us, than we’d be if we were individuals. We respect that family bond and that is key.”

Romance has become resilience in the court of King Beckham – but the memories of the way they were must linger on. It was love at first sight for David as soon as he clapped eyes on chart-topper Victoria in 1996, wiggling around in a black leather miniskirt in a video of the band’s single Say You’ll Be There.

He told Man United teammate Gary Neville: “That’s the girl for me and I’m going to get her.” They crossed paths months later in the United players’ lounge. Victoria later told Vogue: “Yes, love at first sight does exist.”

 It was love at first sight for the power couple (Photo: Courtesy)

David called her the next day before driving from Manchester to London to see her. A year later he popped out a Tiffany ring. Victoria said: “He shares the same sort of family values as me. He’s someone who loves and inspires me.”

They had a lot in common, not least a passion for fashion. From the start, Victoria was dressing David with one aim in mind: all eyes on us.

The first outfit she chose was a burgundy Gucci suit he wore to the Prince’s Trust concert – with no socks and loafers.

Who can forget the matching leather Versace, or flares with midriffs exposed on the red carpet? Hair was no different. Victoria swapped her Spice bob for a chopped pixie style. Extensions followed, with a man bun for David.

The two shared a penchant for tattoos, although Victoria has since had some of hers removed.

David’s boldest choice was a sarong in France at the 1998 World Cup. The soccer star was becoming a hot model with a million pound-plus branding deals and a wardrobe full of labels including Emporio Armani and Adidas. Then he became a dad to Brooklyn in 1999 – and a husband.

In 2000, the Spice Girls split and Victoria’s solo career flopped.

She reluctantly became a WAG as her England captain husband won an OBE shortly after the birth of second son Romeo in 2002. The next year Real Madrid came calling and the young family moved to Spain. In a documentary in 2003 about their move abroad, Victoria said: “Of course it’s hard because of the stress it brings, but we’ve got over a lot worse than this.”

Rocked

A few months later David’s personal assistant at the club, Rebecca Loos, claimed she had a four-month affair with him. The revelations rocked David’s carefully cultivated family man image, but the allegations seemed only to unite the couple. Before long Victoria was pregnant again and son Cruz arrived in 2005.

Next came Becks’ $250m deal to join American team LA Galaxy in 2007. Hollywood star Tom Cruise threw a welcome bash for them.

 David's football career kept the family moving from city to city (Photo: Courtesy)

The family had uprooted again – but this time it was Victoria’s turn to shine with her fashion sense. A year later her first couture collection debuted at New York Fashion Week. The woman who had launched a forgotten jeans range with rapper Damon Dash had been widely tipped to fail.

But the with help of acclaimed designer Roland Mouret, her label became a surprising smash hit.

 The couple, who both love fashion, have been spotted wearing coordinated outfits on many occasions (Photo: Courtesy)

David has proudly sat on the front row at her runway shows with their kids as Victoria built a £100m label.

When daughter Harper was born in 2011 their family was complete. The next year, the marriage took another knock when out of the blue opera singer Katherine Jenkins took to Twitter to deny rumours of an affair with David.

But still they stood firm.

After David retired from football in 2013, they moved back to Britain and a £40m mansion in London.

 Victoria attributes the success of their marriage to their shared family values (Photo: Courtesy)

The pair still spend a lot of time apart, with David set to launch his US football club Inter Miami next year. And fresh rumours surfaced when David did not appear on a Vogue cover alongside his family.

He’s admitted to putting in the “hard work” to overcome problems. Speaking on an Australian TV show in October, he said: “I think marriage is always about hard work… being away from each other you know, you make it work.”

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